ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Due to an increase in coronavirus cases, there are now new visitation policies in place at local hospitals.

Starting at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, visitors will be restricted at Ellis Hospital. This will be the second hospital organization in the Capital Region to once again enact this protocol. This past weekend, St. Peter’s Health Partners also started restricting visitors.

“As of this morning, we have had 56 COVID positive inpatients. That represents about a 600% increase over the last five weeks,” explained Dr. Steven Hanks, Chief Clinical Officer for St. Peter’s Health Partners.

According to Dr. Hanks, for an unknown reason, St. Peter’s Health Partners has seen more of an increase In COVID-19 hospitalizations than any other hospital organization in the region. This prompting new visitation protocols to be put in place.

“No visitation with the exception of exemptions for things like pediatric cases, women in labor, people at end of life, for patients who have a mental health need where they do need accompaniment,” explained Dr. Hanks.

Ellis Hospital is enacting similar restrictions in an effort to protect not only patients, but staff.

The hospital posted on its website that anyone under the age of 18, as well as those who are positive or are awaiting COVID-19 test results, will not be allowed entry into their facility.

Dr. Hanks said that everyone who can no longer visit their loved ones in person should know that they are in good hands, that the public as a whole needs to stay vigilant when it comes to preventing the spread of the virus.

“The physical distancing does work,” said Dr. Hanks. “The masking does work. Limit your gatherings. Be judicious, try to be cautious of where you go, and how often you’re out, and the size of the gatherings.”

Albany Med also sent out visitor restrictions on Tuesday. Beginning Wednesday, Nov. 11. visitors will be limited to those with loved ones near the end of life, parents or guardians with hospitalized children and birthing partners. Compassionate exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis.

Albany Medical Center Hospital, the adult Emergency Department, The Massry Family Pediatric Emergency Center, Albany Med EmUrgentCare and Albany Med Physicians Group locations remain open. To further ensure the safety of Albany Med Physicians Group patients, no visitors or non-patients may join a patient during a visit. One person may join pediatric patients and patients in need of physical or mental support. Patients must wear masks at all times during clinic visit.